Friday, November 17, 2017
Politics

Kriseman criticizes City Council, says he will work with Rays

RECOMMENDED READING


ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman extended a political olive branch to the City Council Thursday, saying he is ready to try again after a council majority scuttled his plan to allow the Tampa Bay Rays to explore new stadium sites in Tampa.

Moments later, however, he repeated his criticism that the council prefers talk to action.

Three weeks after the council voted down a tentative agreement with the Rays, the mayor told an audience at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club that, although he has no timetable to bring an agreement to council, he'll continue to work with Rays president Brian Auld.

"We're not always going to see eye to eye," Kriseman said. "Hopefully, we don't take it personally. If we lose a vote, we move on."

Council member Wengay Newton quickly challenged Kriseman, saying he couldn't believe the mayor expected the council to approve the memorandum of understanding — defeated by a 5-3 vote on Dec. 18.

Kriseman didn't back down from comments he made after that meeting, when he said the council seemed to want to lead by workshop.

"The biggest concern I have is, everything seems to get sent to committee," he told the Tiger Bay audience.

He said the council worked more efficiently when he was a member.

Council member Karl Nurse, who attended the forum, said he agreed with the mayor that the council could be more agile.

"If you're not a little frustrated with how long council takes to do things, you haven't been paying attention," Nurse said.

Televising council meetings, something he pushed for as a new member in 2008, has led to too much "grandstanding and showboating," Nurse said.

But Nurse said he was confident the city could reach an accord with the Rays and expressed confidence in Kriseman.

"We're going to work it out," he said. "He's going to meet with the Rays and try to come back with something that will pass city council."

A few days ago, the mayor spoke briefly with Auld to wish him a happy new year. Kriseman said he wanted to confer with the city's legal staff before restarting formal talks with the Rays.

On Wednesday, Rays spokeswoman Rafaela Amador said the team and city took a "cooling off period" and the Rays are "waiting to see what's next."

Thursday's hour-long session at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club covered a number of other topics:

On a new design for the Pier, Kriseman said residents should participate in a nonbinding Feb. 23 vote on the eight design finalists. "This is it, folks. If you don't weigh in, you're going to miss your chance," he said.

On the subject of Midtown, he said one goal was to attract a major business to that area of the city. He mentioned Costco or Bonefish Grill as two examples.

Regarding the state of the city, Kriseman said past mayors often have used an appearance at Tiger Bay early in the year as a chance to offer their vision. But he said he wanted to give a state-of-the-city address more accessible to the public at 10 a.m. Jan. 24 at City Hall.

Contact Charlie Frago at [email protected]

Comments
Selective outrage: Trump criticizes Franken, silent on Moore

Selective outrage: Trump criticizes Franken, silent on Moore

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is displaying selective outrage over allegations of sexual harassment against prominent men in politics, as his own tortured past lingers over his response. Trump moved quickly Thursday to condemn accusations again...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
In struggling upstate New York cities, refugees vital to rebirth

In struggling upstate New York cities, refugees vital to rebirth

UTICA, N.Y. — Pat Marino pulled into the shop on a cold, wet Thursday and stood close as a young mechanic with gelled-up hair and earrings lifted the truck and ducked underneath."You need a little bit more oil," the mechanic said."Five quarts wasn’t ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Franken draws swift condemnation in Congress after woman claims he groped her

Franken draws swift condemnation in Congress after woman claims he groped her

WASHINGTON — Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., faced swift condemnation and bipartisan calls for an ethics investigation Thursday after he was accused of forcibly kissing and groping a broadcaster and model while traveling overseas in 2006.The allegations ag...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Alabama GOP stands by Roy Moore; Trump declines to urge him to quit Senate race

Alabama GOP stands by Roy Moore; Trump declines to urge him to quit Senate race

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Roy Moore won a reprieve in his struggle to survive as a U.S. Senate candidate Thursday when the Alabama Republican Party affirmed it would continue backing him despite allegations that he sexually assaulted teenagers."Judge Moore ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Big House victory for GOP tax plan, but Senate fate unclear

Big House victory for GOP tax plan, but Senate fate unclear

WASHINGTON — Republicans rammed a $1.5 trillion overhaul of business and personal income taxes through the House Thursday, edging toward the code’s biggest rewrite in three decades and the first major legislative triumph for President Donald Trump an...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Trump reverses ban on importing elephants killed as trophies

Trump reverses ban on importing elephants killed as trophies

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said it will allow the importation of body parts from African elephants shot for sport, contending that encouraging wealthy big-game hunters to kill them will aid the vulnerable species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlif...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Senate Judiciary panel: Kushner had contacts about WikiLeaks, Russian overtures he did not disclose

Senate Judiciary panel: Kushner had contacts about WikiLeaks, Russian overtures he did not disclose

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner received and forwarded emails about WikiLeaks and a "Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite" that he kept from Senate Judiciary Committee investigators, according to pane...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Not just Disneyland? California officials probe source of Legionnaires’ cases

Not just Disneyland? California officials probe source of Legionnaires’ cases

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Three new cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been identified in Southern California and officials are looking at the possibility there may be a source outside Disneyland, where at least 11 of the patients visited in September,...
Published: 11/16/17
New Jersey Sen. Menendez’s bribery trial, a case with Florida connections, ends in a hung jury

New Jersey Sen. Menendez’s bribery trial, a case with Florida connections, ends in a hung jury

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The federal bribery trial of Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez ended in a mistrial Thursday when the jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked on all charges against the New Jersey politician and a wealthy donor.Prosecutors can seek to re...
Published: 11/16/17
The House is voting on its tax bill Thursday. Here’s what is in it.

The House is voting on its tax bill Thursday. Here’s what is in it.

WASHINGTON — The big day is finally here for President Donald Trump and GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. On Thursday, the House is set to vote on the tax bill, the central piece of the Republican plan to boost the U.S. economy. No Democrats ...
Published: 11/16/17